Date Approved

2016

Date Posted

12-12-2016

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Marguerite DeBello

Second Advisor

Julie Slack

Abstract

When a patient or a loved one has a chronic, life-threatening illness, it is critical to guarantee the healthcare provider or family member helping them explore their options in order to make them as comfortable and happy as possible. Palliative care programs aim to relieve the patient or loved one from suffering by managing their symptoms, and working with them to achieve their goals and enhance their quality of life. Many people may confuse hospice with palliative care but it is important to realize hospice has certain requirements that a patient has to meet whereas palliative care programs can be opted into at any stage in their illness. Palliative care has numerous benefits for both the patient and their family members. Some of the benefits include symptom control, improved communication and coordination between healthcare members and family, support for the patient and their caregivers, and assistance with making complex medical decisions and determining treatment choices.

Palliative care services vary based on the patient's age and individualized needs. In the pediatric population, palliative care team members are all specialize in pediatrics which is critical since there are countless differences between the pediatric and adult populations. Pediatric palliative care is extremely beneficial because the healthcare team is able to manage the child's illness and at the same time try to attempt curative treatment. There are a few barriers when it comes to pediatric palliative care programs but the solutions are easily accessible. The pediatric palliative care programs have been dramatically increasing over the past few years, proving their effectiveness. With this young population family is a critical role in the patient's treatment which is why parents and even siblings are looked at as members of the medical care team.

The palliative care services for veterans has also proven to be highly beneficial. Palliative care services for the veteran population has improved numerous lives. Mental health issues are more common in this area. There are several sources veterans and their caretakers can utilize in order to find out if palliative care is right for them. Veterans may have their care completely covered through their veterans' benefit package depending on their specific issues and what kind of treatment is required. Palliative care programs are improving the quality of life for chronically ill patients with limited options for treatment for people at any age. Palliative care programs are becoming more and more popular and hopefully soon anyone who qualifies for palliative care can get the help they need to live more comfortable lives.

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Nursing Commons

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